The Gummi Bear Experiment

Background Information:

Cells will lose or gain water based on the solutions they are in. A gummi bear can serve as a model for the cell. If it is placed in different solutions, it will gain or lose water. In this activity, you will soak your gummi bear overnight in three different solutions, then record your observations about changes that occurred.

Materials Needed (not all may be used):

Gummi bears
Beakers or cups
Salt, Sugar, Distilled Water
Scale (optional)

gummy bears

The Question:

Will a gummi bear lose or gain water in each of the following solutions:

The Experiment

Design an experiment to answer the question. Sketch your design below and have it approved before you continue. Sketch how you will set up your cups with the gummi bears.

Construct a data table based on how you plan to collect data to answer the experimental questions. Your table should consider that you will need to collect data today and then tomorrow after the bears have soaked over night.


Set-Up Your Experiment

Use the materials provided to set up your experiment. Be sure to label your cups or beakers so you know which one is yours tomorrow



Summarize what happened in each of your solutions. Your description can include sketches showing how your gummi bears looked before and after. Be prepared to share your results with the class.

Related Experiments with Osmosis

Observe Diffusion in a Bag – model diffusion using a plastic baggie, iodine and a beaker.   This article explains what happens.

Transport Across the Cell Membrane – simple diagram shows how molecules enter the cell through diffusion, facilitated diffusion, and osmosis

Observing Osmosis – use an egg, vinegar, corn syrup, will take a few days

Salt and Elodea – quick lab to observe the effects of salt water on elodea cells